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Title III Programs

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Title III
134 Thayer Hall
223 James P. Brawley Drive, S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30314
Phone: 404-880-8505    
Fax: 404-880-6058

Email:  titleIIIprogram@cau.edu

Program Description

The Aid for Institutional Development programs, commonly referred to as the Title III programs, are designed to strengthen institutions of higher education that serve high percentages of minority students and students from low-income backgrounds. A low-income individual is defined as an individual from a family whose taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150 percent of an amount equal to the poverty level determined by using criteria of poverty established by the Bureau of the Census. Federal grants made under these programs to eligible institutions are to support improvements in the academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability of the institutions. Specifically, the Title III programs provide financial assistance to help institutions solve problems that threaten their ability to survive, to improve their management and fiscal operations, to build endowments, and to make effective use of technology. Funding is targeted to minority-serving and other institutions that enroll a large proportion of financially disadvantaged students and have low per-student expenditures. In addition, from its inception in 1965, one of the primary missions of the Title III programs has been to strengthen the Nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 extended that mission to include programs to strengthen Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities and Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-serving Institutions. Furthermore, the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA), which reauthorized the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), established the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving Institutions program, the Native American-serving Nontribal Institutions program, and the Predominantly Black Institutions program. Lastly, the HEOA transferred mandatory funding for Strengthening HBCUs and Other Minority Serving Institutions program from Title IV, Section 499A of the HEA to Title III, Section 371 of the HEA.

Program Activites


From amounts available under section 1068h(a)(2) of this title for any fiscal year, the Secretary shall make grants (under section 1063 of this title) to institutions which have applications approved by the Secretary (under section 1063a of this title) for any of the following uses: 

Grants shall be made for a period not to exceed 5 years. Any funds awarded for such five-year grant period that are obligated during such five-year period may be expended during the 10-year period beginning on the first day of such five-year period.   


  1. Purchase, rental, or lease of scientific or laboratory equipment for educational purposes, including instructional and research purposes.
  2. Construction, maintenance, renovation, and improvement in classroom, library, laboratory, and other instructional facilities, including purchase or rental of telecommunications technology equipment or services.
  3. Support of faculty exchanges, and faculty development and faculty fellowships to assist in attaining advanced degrees in their field of instruction.
  4. Academic instruction in disciplines in which Black Americans are underrepresented.
  5. Purchase of library books, periodicals, microfilm, and other educational materials, including telecommunications program materials.
  6. Tutoring, counseling, and student service programs designed to improve academic success.
  7. Funds and administrative management, and acquisition of equipment for use in strengthening funds management.
  8. Joint use of facilities, such as laboratories and libraries.
  9. Establishing or improving a development office to strengthen or improve contributions from alumni and the private sector.
  10. Establishing or enhancing a program of teacher education designed to qualify students to teach in a public elementary or secondary school in the State that shall include, as part of such program, preparation for teacher certification.
  11. Establishing community outreach programs which will encourage elementary and secondary students to develop the academic skills and the interest to pursue postsecondary education.
  12. Acquisition of real property in connection with the construction, renovation, or addition to or improvement of campus facilities.
  13. Education or financial information designed to improve the financial literacy and economic literacy of students or the students’ families, especially with regard to student indebtedness and student assistance programs under subchapter IV of this chapter and part C of subchapter I of chapter 34 of title 42.
  14. Services necessary for the implementation of projects or activities that are described in the grant application and that are approved, in advance, by the Secretary, except that not more than two percent of the grant amount may be used for this purpose.
  15. Other activities proposed in the application submitted pursuant to section 1063a of this title that
    • contribute to carrying out the purposes of this part; and
    • are approved by the Secretary as part of the review and acceptance of such application.


  1. In general An institution may use not more than 20 percent of the grant funds provided under this part to establish or increase an endowment fund at the institution.
  2. Matching requirement In order to be eligible to use grant funds in accordance with paragraph (1), the eligible institution shall provide matching funds from non-Federal sources, in an amount equal to or greater than the Federal funds used in accordance with paragraph (1), for the establishment or increase of the endowment fund.
  3. Comparability The provisions of part C of this subchapter regarding the establishment or increase of an endowment fund, that the Secretary determines are not inconsistent with this subsection, shall apply to funds used under paragraph (1).


  1. No grant may be made under this chapter and part C of subchapter I of chapter 34 of title 42 for any educational program, activity, or service related to sectarian instruction or religious worship, or provided by a school or department of divinity. For the purpose of this subsection, the term “school or department of divinity” means an institution whose program is specifically for the education of students to prepare them to become ministers of religion or to enter upon some other religious vocation, or to prepare them to teach theological subjects.
  2. Not more than 50 percent of the allotment of any institution may be available for the purpose of constructing or maintaining a classroom, library, laboratory, or other instructional facility.